Technical Writing Resources
Getting started as a technical writer is easy if you have the right help! Over the years we've collected a number of links to helpful sites on technical writing or of interest to technical writers. I hope they'll prove to be as useful for you as they have been for me!
Jobs and Markets
In addition to what's on our Tech Writing Job Sites page, here are some that might also be of interest.
PACE - if you're a contractor and need an agency, we recommend PACE. It's a good deal if you can find your own clients but need to go through an agency; PACE handles the paperwork for a low percentage of your billing, and you keep the profits. That's pretty much unique as far as we know - most agencies pay you a fixed rate, and keep the profits themselves.
Firstwriter - Need a publisher for your book? Start with an agent first. Firstwriter has a searchable database of more than 500 literary agents.
Insurance for Writers
Especially for freelance writers, insurance is a big, big deal. Here are some insurance sites that you can check out.
eHealthInsurance offers what it says is the largest selection of health plans and the best prices. You can compare plans from different insurers, get free instant quotes, get live help if you need it, and buy online.
Dentalplans.com - Dental insurance, with 210,000 participating dentists in various networks.
Insurecom - get a free auto, health, home or life insurance quote.
Books and software for writers
Writers Book Mall - organizes thousands of books, magazines, and software into categories of interest to writers, with service from Amazon.
Alibris - you can search for over 40 million new and used books.
Magazines.com - subscribe & save up to 80% off cover prices.
Computers for writers
Dell is a great source for desktop and laptop computers, plus the peripherals.
Amazon also offers computers at competitive prices.
Here are some of the writers' associations we know of; there are more out there. If you're a veteran in your field, associations tend to be less important. But if you're starting out, you can learn a lot from your peers.
TECHWR-L - if you're a tech writer, subscribe to this list. You'll learn quickly from the discussions, which do sometimes get opinionated, and be part of a large (virtual) community. It also has searchable archives going back for several years. A goldmine of information.
About.com - As the site says, "Discover is technical writing is right for you, and if it is, find out how to learn what you need to know."
Pubsnet - an outfit that offers training and placement for tech writers. Oops, we mean technical communicators.
STC - good information, and some people find STC a great resource for networking. Others find STC to be a bit stuffy, but you know what? You can have a look and see if it works for you. Some services are available only to members. Also, STC has local chapters in most places where there are tech writers - including several outside the US - and the chapters are where you'll find contacts with local colleagues.
WinWriters - "Training and Information for User Assistance Professionals." User assistance is a term referring to all the various ways in which the people behind a product (like a software system, for example) can help the user of the product. Could be a user guide or help file, or training, or wizards, or an improved user interface, or whatever.
ASTD - a training organization, helpful to those writers who also do technical (or other) training. If you're a trainer, they have a good job board, especially for senior positions.
EServer Technical Communication (and Technical Writing) Library - a mouthful of a name, but an excellent site full of links to sites of interest to tech writers.